During a visit to the building on Monday, this correspondent found cracks at several places of the building. Chunks of plaster from roofs and walls were seen at quite a few places on the floor. Rods of the roof became visible and electric cables were hanging at many places.
Constructed in 1967-68 fiscal year, the building houses the district registry office on the first floor and Sadar upazila sub-registry office on the ground floor.
Several lakhs of land record books (locally called balam boi) preserved since 1901 are also vulnerable to damage by rainwater that easily enters the building through the walls, said Sultan Ahmed, record keeper of the office.
A total 106 employees including deed writers, searchers and copyists submitted a prayer to the district registrar on Monday to shift the office to a safe place.
Accident may occur any time as the building is in a very bad condition, said District Registrar Md Abed Hossain.
“We are working here amid risk as often chunks of plaster falls off. Rainwater seeps into the dilapidated building, causing damage to valuable documents,” said Sohrab Hossain, office assistant of Sadar upazila sub registry office.
“We sent several letters to the higher authority concerned for reconstruction of the building but in vain,” said Md Mizanur Rahman, sub-registrar for Patuakhali Sadar upazila.
The government earns around Tk 40 crore annual revenue from the office.
Over 100-metre-long road connecting the office is also in a bad condition. Rainwater stands on the road, much to the sufferings to office staff and visitors.
When contacted, Kamruzzaman, executive engineer for Patuakhali Public Works Department, said, “We did repair works spending Tk 30 lakh since 1998 to keep the building usable for office. Now it has become too old and risky. We will send an estimate to the higher authorities soon to reconstruct the building.”